Reigning Champions South Hobart meet title hopefuls and 2015 Summer Cup Champions Olympia FC Warriors in a Good Friday blockbuster at Darcy Street.
The match will be one of the most anticipated of the season so far with the pre-season favourite Olympia going toe to toe with the two time Playstation 4 Victory League champion.
South Hobart bounced back from a shock round 1 loss at the hands of Hobart Jeep Zebras, producing a big 6-2 win away from home at Valley Road last week. South showed they are still a force to be reckoned with, ringing out the warning bells, rattling six past Devonport on the league’s toughest road trip. The league’s leading marksman Brayden Mann was kept goalless in round 1 but wasn’t kept down for long, enjoying a stellar homecoming to his former stomping ground with a hat trick and two assists in a huge win.
Following an exciting pre-season campaign in which they lifted the Summer Cup, Olympia entered the season proper with plenty of hype and were considered the favourites by many to take out the 2015 PS4 Victory League shield. The Warriors shot out of the blocks with a 4-1 win over Northern Rangers in round 1 but were humbled by traditional rivals, Hobart Jeep Zebras last week, with the black and white army trumping them 3-0.
As a result, Olympia have dropped out of the top four on goal difference, while South are back inside the top four, both teams be looking to claim three points in order to stick with pacesetters Hobart Jeep Zebras and Kingborough Lions in pursuit of the 2015 League title.
South Hobart Coach Ken Morton is expecting the Warriors to come out with a point to prove after last week’s loss.
"Olympia are a formidable opponent, they had a super Summer Cup, so we go into Friday's game expecting a tough game, they'll be wanting to bounce back following their loss against Zebras,” said Morton.
“While Luke Eyles has produced some good form, the team has also performed well with Hickey and Mearns in midfield,” added Morton.
South Hobart will have Skipper Hugh Ludford return to the squad from a groin injury and may have enigmatic forward Ben Hamlett back in the mix following a hamstring complaint.
In the north of the state, after collecting just one point from their opening two games, Northern Rangers face a do or die clash up against ladder leaders, Hobart Jeep Zebras from 2:30PM at NTCA on Saturday afternoon.
Zebras are undefeated and will face their third top four team from 2014 in as many weeks, in a shock result Rangers shared points with Launceston City last Saturday night and they were run over by the Warriors in round 1, meaning they will be desperate for maximum points in order to kickstart their season and their tilt for the 2015 title.
In round 3’s other encounters, bottom placed Devonport will look to get off the mark against surprise packets Glenorchy Knights, and a confident Launceston City host second placed Kingborough Lions.
All PS4 Victory League teams have a busy schedule this weekend, backing up their league clashes with Lakoseljac Cup Round of 16 ties on Easter Monday.
The pick of the Lakoseljac Cup clashes include an all PS4 Victory League matchup with South Hobart v Devonport, an eastern shore derby with Olympia hosting Clarence, last year’s Southern Champions Uni v Glenorchy Knights and last year’s Northern Champions Somerset v Launceston City.
PLAYSTATION 4 VICTORY LEAGUE ROUND 3
SOUTH HOBART V OLYMPIA FC WARRIORS – 2:30PM/GOOD Friday, 3 APRIL 2015 (DARCY STREET, SOUTH HOBART)
GLENORCHY KNIGHTS V DEVONPORT STRIKERS – 2:00PM/Saturday 4 APRIL 2015 (KGV FOOTBALL PARK, GLENORCHY)
NORTHERN RANGERS V HOBART JEEP ZEBRAS – 2:30PM/Saturday 4 APRIL 2015 (NTCA, LAUNCESTON)
LAUNCESTON CITY V KINGBOROUGH LIONS – 4:30PM/Saturday 4 APRIL 2015 (MITSUBISHI PARK, PROSPECT)